• Council Roundup: More discussion on temporary encampment code amendment

    Plus, affordable housing progress report 

    In an extended study session on Monday the City Council received further information on a proposed amendment to Land Use Code Chapter 20.30U (LUC) governing temporary encampments hosted by religious organizations on their property. 

    The council was briefed on four main code amendment recommendations, which closely align with how temporary encampments currently operate under standards set in both the LUC and a federal consent decree. The encampments have been operating under this two-part framework since 2006. The consent decree will expire in January 2020, which has prompted the city to explore a single standard governing the encampments. 

    Councilmembers discussed which amendment recommendations and topics should be included in next month’s public hearing. The conversation touched on the desire to consider more specific guidance in the code on neighborhood engagement practices, such as how to measure the success of a temporary encampment in the city. The council also heard about some of the tools available to the city under the existing framework to facilitate responsive hosts and ensure compliance with the conditions of a temporary encampment approval.

    Public hearings on the matter will be held on Nov. 18 with final council action tentatively scheduled for December. You can read more about the details and history of this topic on the city’s temporary encampment web page. The full discussion is available to watch online courtesy of BTV

    Affordable housing progress update

    In other business, the council received a progress update on Bellevue’s Affordable Housing Strategy, formally adopted in 2017. According to the update, the availability of affordable housing in the city has increased since the adoption of the strategy and it’s expected that the volume of affordable housing provided will continue to ramp up as the 21 actions included in the document are implemented. 

    Since adoption of the strategy, the city has gained 226 affordable housing units through land use and tax incentives, and funding support. Another 485 affordable units are in the current pipeline for development. This includes more than 300 affordable units within a half mile of light rail transit.

    The strategy’s housing target is to achieve 2,500 affordable housing units over a ten-year period. At this time, it appears the city is on track to reach that goal and will continually assess the progress in implementing actions. 

    You can track the actions taken to date on the city’s affordable housing web section.   

    Published on 10/16/2019